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The Power of Language


Do you have the language of leadership? How is what you’re saying affecting you as leader? Whether in your life, your family, your team, or your community, what is your language saying about your leadership?

I was recently working with a client on her awareness of her language – of what she was saying, and how it affected both her ability to lead and people’s perception of her leadership. While our intentions are often good – to help, to be supportive – they can sometimes get in the way of actually leading. Sometimes leading means more than lending a sympathetic ear; sometimes leading means challenging a person’s belief system to the core, forcing her to pull the best out of herself because, as a leader, you know it’s there.

Empathy and compassion are wonderful and necessary attributes – but the true passion in any relationship should be to help each other be our best selves. And sometimes that requires more challenging language, more difficult conversations. Sometimes to help someone actually means to not sympathize with them. Do not let them off the hook for their commitments; hold them accountable for their behaviors. As a leader, truly let the person know that you know they can be so much more.

How can you look at your language and determine if it’s allowing you to be a leader in your relationships?

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